Not a day goes by that I don’t consume/ utilise/ wear these items*, so I thought I share my top-picks with you, By Robyn Williams
I start pretty much every morning with a bowl of FutureLife. I am of the School of Breakfast and firmly believe in having something to eat after around 10 hours of fasting through the night (as much as my parents may try and encourage me not to eat before a training session). FutureLife works really well for me. I can literally eat it 10 minutes before heading out for any kind of session. It keeps me going for the entire session and I don’t over-eat when I get back from training.
TYR Ellipse goggles
There is nothing worse than fiddling with your goggles between each interval or having them leak while you swim, especially if you wear contacts like I do. The TYR goggles fit my face perfectly and you can also adjust the width of the nose piece to customise the fit. Winning is never having to touch your goggles.
TYR Hurricane wetsuit
When athletes sponsored by other brands say it’s “the best looking wetsuit” they’ve ever seen and asking where they can get one you know it’s hot! Initially I wasn’t sure that I was going to like the suit given that it was quite a bit thicker than my previous suit (natural swimmers tend to prefer a thinner suit as they like the flexibility and don’t need too much buoyancy). But I absolutely love it! And when no one can keep up with you at open water training you know it’s a winner!
I first started training with a PowerTap in 2011 and it absolutely sky-rocketed my cycling. I have never had a faster improvement curve using any other piece of equipment. A PowerTap will absolutely revolutionise your cycle training – allowing you to do extremely beneficial sets and cut down the time spent on the bike. But it hurts. It hurts so good because watts do not lie. It is an amazing pacing tool for longer distance triathletes and I am looking forward to using it at my first half Ironman in August.
CycleOps Jet Pro
Well it’s winter in Stellenbosch which often means torrential rain. Now I’ll pretty much always choose to ride outdoors, but sometimes it’s just not sensible. It’s more dangerous when the roads are wet and you’re more likely to get sick. That’s why I am super happy to have the best indoor trainer at my disposal. It’s literally just unfold and secure bike. No hassle. It doesn’t chow your rear tire or make much noise either. The ride is exceptionally road-like and you use your gears to change the resistance. Just make sure you have an industrial fan and a sweat towel. Spending time on the trainer is also great for working on your pedal stroke and making your training time uber effective. My coach loves setting sessions for me on the trainer. In fact, I have one for tonight.
I don’t do a session without my Oakleys. I’ve tried other brands, but nothing compares to them. They sit securely, the lens quality is first class (a pair actually saved my face when I was hit by a car while out cycling) and they are super comfortable – I actually forget that I’m wearing them.
I became interested in Hoka when Conrad Stoltz first started wearing them. I have always struggled with “overuse” injuries – not exactly overuse, but bad biomechanics resulted in 3 stress fractures in my shins with very little running. These “oversize” shoes sounded like they might just be the thing for me. I was fortunate enough to get 3 pairs from Hoka America. Like with any shoe brand, you’re never going to like all the models – I LOVED two of them. The Huaka and the Clifton. I do absolutely every run in them, I’ve upped my running mileage, am uninjured and don’t think I ever want to go back to “traditional” shoes.
The Prevail is the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn. It’s like not wearing one. Mine even comes with some pink. I’ve done some product testing and found that it protects your noggin (oops and ouch). I also tested out Specialized’s crash replacement warranty (twice. Oops), which is fantastic – so grateful for it!
Specialized Ridge gloves
I’ve always been on the road and a strictly short finger glove girl, but these gloves are so awesome that I am becoming a real MTBer – wearing my long finger gloves on the road bike. They are super durable, airy enough that your hands don’t get too hot (I hate that) and you can still use your mobile phone while wearing them due to the WireTap feature.
Used for keeping goggles fog free. No more misty goggles, expensive solutions or using spit to keep them clear. Baby shampoo works wonders. Just pour a little into the inside of the goggles, swoosh it around and rinse THOROUGHLY! There’s nothing worse than burning eyes. Winning!
Solo bikes and runs can be used to do some massive introspection, but when you spend as much time training alone as I do, you don’t actually want to think that much all the time. Most of the music on my iPod is pretty good – I’ve got Bastille, Imagine Dragons, lots of Taylor Swift, Avicii, Jeremy Loops, Ben Howard, The Fray and some stuff that I have no idea how it got on there. I only update my playlists about every two years so I get pretty bored of it, but some good music can help reduce perceived effort in my opinion. Or at least distract from the pain a bit.
So there you have it. Now you know. My top training picks.
*Disclaimer: Although I am sponsored by some of the brands that make these items (not all), I genuinely believe that they are the best on the market and LOVE them! I’d choose to use them even if I wasn’t sponsored by Specialized, TYR or PowerTap.